Give Classic Potato Salad A Tex-Mex Twist With A Few Extra Ingredients

Potato salad fans are an impassioned and welcoming bunch. Summertime is our time, baby, and when warm weather rolls around with its fantasia of picnics and backyard barbecues, we know there's probably going to be at least one bowl of the good stuff on the food table. But, by the fourth cookout of the season, even the most diehard tater lover is likely starting to get kind of ... bored (sigh). That long-awaited creamy salad should be exciting — so keep it interesting with a little Tex-Mex flair.

Tex-Mex (not to be confused with Mexican cuisine) is a fusion style that brings together classic south-of-the-border foods like beans, meats, and cheesy burritos, tamales, tacos, enchiladas, and more with the Southern culinary flair of Texas cooking methods. It evolved from immigrants of Northern Mexico and folks of Spanish or Mexican heritage who lived in Texas before the state became a republic, also known as Tejano culture. Spanish explorers first colonized Texas in the 1580s, and their culinary influence has since cemented across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Southern California. This regional fusion cuisine provides some easy ingredient additions for a Tex-Mex twist on your tried-and-true potato salad, such as cheddar jack cheese, tortilla chips, grated cheddar cheese, dark red chili sauce, ground beef, pinto beans, rice, sour cream, and crunchy taco shells.

Grilled corn and peppers are just what your potato salad has bean missing

To transport your mild, predictable potato salad to Tex-Mex territory, just take a cue from some of the fusion cuisine's quintessential dishes: chili con carne, steak fajitas, cheese enchiladas, and breakfast tacos. With these dishes in mind, you can load up your classic potato salad recipe with many of the same ingredients, like black beans, grilled corn, diced red and green bell peppers, diced red onion, fresh parsley, pickled sliced jalapeños, guacamole, salsa, and crumbly cotija cheese. Instead of regular mild, creamy mayonnaise, you could also give your potato salad some Tex-Mex tang with equal parts mayo and sour cream as the binding agent.

In true Tex-Mex fashion, hit your potato salad with some of the foundational fusion spices like garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, or packaged taco seasoning. Also, unlike traditional Mexican food, Tex-Mex is very cumin-heavy. Feel free to add a liberal dash of cumin to your elevated potato salad for a warming, earthy, spiced kick. Some taco seasoning or cumin would work particularly well in this ultra-savory bacon and egg ranch potato salad.

Or, you could ditch the taco-esque profile altogether and whip up a batch of cilantro lime potato salad with lime juice, minced garlic, sea salt, and chopped cilantro. A cilantro lime hit would be extra delicious on this umami grilled sweet potato salad. Garnish with more lime wedges and fresh cilantro for a colorful, impressive finish.